The Trouble With Harry by Katie MacAlister. Sourcebooks Casablanca. 2014. Library copy.
The Plot: Regency England. Lord Harry Rosse thought he'd faced danger as a spy. But that he could handle... what he can't handle is life, now, raising five children alone. What he needs, what he wants, is a wife: someone to love his children, with all their antics and high spirits. Such high spirits he sometimes hides from them...
A wife for company and companionship. Not one of those pretty young things only interested in his title and status, eager for children of her own.
So he places an ad for a wife, leaving out a few details. Like the children. And the title. Or his past as a spy.
Plum sees the advertisement for a wife and thinks its the answer. All she wants is a decent man; the chance to have a child of her own; someone who will be kind to her the niece she's raised; and someone she can respect. She doesn't deliberately leave out details -- like her disastrous elopement twenty years ago, to a man who already had a wife. (She didn't know!! He lied!) Or that book she wrote under an assumed name, the book that helped support her when her family and friends and society shunned her for her involvement with a married man.
The Good: The Trouble with Harry was a lot of fun: it's like a sexytimes Nanny McPhee. The children are terrible, and cause so much problems. I kept giggling as I read it.
This is one of the titles recommended back when I asked about books featuring those 40 and over: Plum is 40, Harry is 45. Each are hiding secrets, and those secrets come create problems for them. But what I liked is that despite those secrets they are keeping from each other, they are honest with each other in what matters: their emotions and their feelings. Both are also frank about their attraction and physical needs and desire for each other. Perhaps more than frank -- let's just say that the book Plum wrote isn't some Jane Austen or Bronte inspired work of art.
Because both are older, Harry and Plum are for the most part secure in who they are. They don't have unrealistic expectations of each other; Harry particularly doesn't want some young wife full of romantic dreams. But that earned dose of reality is what makes their relationship and growing love so romantic and meaningful.
So, thank you very much for the recommendation, and I look forward to reading the others in this series!
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy